OTTAWA, ONTARIO (June 14, 2012) – The Nutrition North Canada Advisory Board met with residents of Norman Wells, Northwest Territories, Monday evening to hear their views on the northern food subsidy program. Board members also toured two local stores, Rampart Rentals (also known as Mary's) and the Northern store, which are both registered with Nutrition North Canada (NNC).
Early analysis of data collected from registered NNC retailers to date shows that the program has had a positive impact on nutritious food prices since its launch in April 2011.
"The Harper Government is committed to ensuring that Northerners, and all Canadians, have access to quality, nutritious food," said the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. "The information we received from the discussions with Northern stakeholders during this meeting will greatly benefit our Government in ensuring that this program works well for Northerners."
The goal of the NNC Advisory Board is to provide advice with a northern perspective to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development on how the NNC program operates in the North. The Board has previously held public meetings in Iqaluit, Nunavut, and Kuujjuaq in Northern Quebec.
"My fellow board members and I are serious about making sure NNC is working in the North, in our communities," said Mr. Wilf Wilcox, newly appointed chair of the NNC Advisory Board. "We heard some very thoughtful and helpful suggestions on topics such as direct or 'personal' orders, food quality and reliability of food supply from the people of Norman Wells. It's our job now to learn more about the topics they've raised and then provide advice on how NNC can be improved for all Northerners."
Mr. Wilcox was appointed as Chair of the NNC Advisory Board in May 2012. He previously served as a regular member of the Board. He is a former deputy mayor and councillor in his home community of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, and is a member of several northern boards.
"As an experienced leader and businessman with strong ties across the North, Mr. Wilcox is a strong voice for Northerners," added Minister Duncan. "I look forward to the input of the Advisory Board and to ongoing guidance from Mr. Wilcox and the other board members as NNC continues to work towards improving access to nutritious food for every Northerner."
The members of the NNC Advisory Board represent a wide range of northern perspectives and interests. They meet several times a year in-person and by teleconference. The next northern public meeting will be scheduled this coming fall.
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